19 year old Texas Tech cheerleader Kendall Jones loves to kill; not for eating or defense, but just for the thrill of it. She gets off on taking lives; especially those of rare animals few ever get the opportunity to see in the wild.
Jones shared this love of death on her Facebook profile, posting photos of herself smiling, stepping on, and straddling dead lions, leopards, and other victims of her recent trip to Zimbabwe.
The photos sparked outrage online. Over 340,000 people signed a petition demanding Facebook remove them. Facebook complied, citing their policy against “graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence.”
Still, Jones is unrepentant. On her Facebook page, she justifies the killings, suggesting that her destruction of rare animals raises funds for wildlife management and thereby promotes “conservation.”
She is incredibly misguided.
The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation reports that only 3% of revenue from trophy hunting goes toward wildlife management. 97% goes to national governments and foreign corporations.
Wildlife tourism brings in far more revenue for conservation, without the added cost of life. However, as people like Jones continue to thin the lion population, this source of income becomes scarce.
According to National Geographic, liberal estimates suggest only 32,000 African lions remain in the wild. They are on the verge of being classified as an endangered species. Hunting is largely to blame for this reality. When hunters kill adult male lions, as Jones did, not only do they remove the pride leader, they destabilize the pride, leading to fights among rival males for control, and causing even more deaths. Once a new leader takes control of the pride, he will proceed to eliminate all cubs sired from the previous leader. Thus the population dwindles to an even greater extent.
It is hard to imagine how anyone witnessing such a majestic creature as the African lion, would think, much less take pleasure in, ending that life. It says something about the mental state of the person taking part. If such a person wants to boast about their participation, we should not censor them. Instead, we should allow them to reveal their twisted mentality, subjecting it to the ridicule it deserves.
Despite the public outcry, Facebook should not have removed the photos of Kendall Jones disrespecting nature. Facebook should have allowed them to remain so that the public could see for themselves the travesty that is trophy hunting and the destructive girl who takes pleasure in taking life.